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Community Corner - Bill Green, VBS Board of Directors, Administrative Vice President

11/20/2018 04:50:00 PM


Community Corner

Bill Green, VBS Board of Directors, Administrative Vice President

My wife Barbara and I both grew up in the Valley. My first understanding of how important a synagogue can be in the spiritual, cultural, and social life of a suburban Jewish community came as a youngster, watching my parents help start a small Jewish congregation in Van Nuys with a few other families, meeting in a small house on Van Nuys Boulevard. My mom was a teacher and volunteered as the first Hebrew School principal. My Dad was a Board member. That Temple merged with several other small congregations into what eventually became Temple Ner Tamid on Saticoy Street. I got to experience the joy of a temple youth group, I was active in an AZA chapter, and met my wife Barbara during high school at an AZA-BBG event. Barbara and I remain friends with people we met in those days, some of whom are VBS members.

After marriage, we lived in the North Valley, joined a congregation there where our kids celebrated B'nai Mitzvah, we became active for many years, and I served on the Board. About ten years ago, we joined VBS, and after a while I was asked to be on the VBS Board, and am now serving as Administrative Vice President.

There are many ways to become engaged in the VBS community. In my case, my life has been enriched through involvement in 3 different areas of Synagogue life.

The first is taking advantage of the many opportunities here for life long learning and spiritual growth. VBS provides many ways for members to learn more about Jewish tradition and values, and a range of religious services to meet the spiritual needs of our families. Each family at VBS has the opportunity explore these and many other opportunities to find the right fit for spiritual intellectual growth and fulfillment, while meeting others with similar interests. In our case, we have gravitated to the Wednesday night College of Jewish Studies, Rabbi Feinstein's Shabbat morning Torah study sessions, Rimonim Services on Friday nights, the Hazak program, and have recently joined a Havurah.

The second area is working as a volunteer to increase member engagement and communications. When we first joined VBS, based on my computer engineering work at JPL and Caltech, I was guided into joining the volunteer VBS Website Committee, chaired at the time by Phyllis Beim. The VBS Website was a ground breaking synagogue website for its time, designed, built and maintained by member volunteers. That committee gave me my first taste of how talented and very busy people are willing to spend hours of their time volunteering for VBS. Later on, as the site became larger and more complex, the website was transitioned to a contractor, and then later I led a team of staff and volunteers to select our current contractor and the site was upgraded again. I am still engaged in working with staff in planning ways in which we can take advantage of emerging technology and social media to support improved member communication and interaction. Later, as VP of Adult Jewish Life, I also spent time working with Rabbi Hoffman on finding ways to make members aware of the many opportunities for engagement within the VBS community.

The third area is the “business side” of VBS. VBS is a complex organization, with many moving parts. As Administrative VP, I have gotten to know many of our staff members. They are a team of skilled and talented professionals, dedicated to providing quality support and services to our members.  They work hard, enjoy what they are doing, and are able to laugh when things get hectic, while resolving issues and moving forward. I am working with staff focusing on several areas--finding ways to implement on-line member registration and renewals, utilizing features of our membership database management system to simplify our processes, continuing review and enhancement of our security practices, and holding expenditures within authorized budgets.

So that's my story. Each VBS member has their own story of what this community means to them and their family. To find a match between your interests and the many programs we offer at VBS contact our Membership Coordinator, Natasha Benzaken at 818.530.4008. If you are interested in volunteering your time and talents, contact Ben Cutter, Social Action Coordinator, at 818.530.4035, to discuss where your help would be welcomed. If you want more information on the types of religious services we offer each month, visit or call 818.788.6000. B'Shalom.

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